Recently, community members and Beaumont staff have raised questions about Beaumont Hospital, Wayne. We want you to have the facts.
As we’ve said repeatedly over the last three plus weeks, Beaumont, Wayne is not closing, nor have we decided to close any other hospital campuses. All decisions Beaumont Health has made throughout this pandemic have been made with approvals from
the State of Michigan (e.g. Licensing and Regulatory Affair – LARA). In fact, the State has acknowledged we have treated for a large share of COVID-19 patients and we have creatively flexed and adapted our plans to meet the needs of these patients.
As a reminder, on March 26, while our COVID-19 surge was rapidly rising and predicted to increase and Beaumont, Farmington Hills and Beaumont, Grosse Pointe were already 90% plus COVID-19 only hospitals, Beaumont announced a strategy to designate our
Beaumont, Wayne campus as a COVID-19 surge site. We activated Wayne as a COVID-19 hospital but then saw our overall COVID-19 numbers across the system start to slow. We were cautiously optimistic that we’d hit a peak in this first surge and
stopped additional transfers to Beaumont, Wayne while we continued to assess the need for beds. We also deployed critical clinical providers from Wayne to other Beaumont sites to care for the critically ill patients at our other campuses.
Beaumont has proudly cared for the most COVID-19 patients in the state and we understand the needs of these patients. We continue to flex our surge plans in response to this pandemic and recalibrate services, resources and staffing across the system to best meet the needs of our patients, employees, physicians and communities we serve. While the number of COVID-19 patients has decreased recently, we don’t know what the future holds. There could still be a surge or second wave of COVID-19 patients.
Our plans continue to evolve across the system, including our plan to safely re-open Beaumont, Wayne. When our plan is finalized, subject to COVID-19 fluctuations, we will work with LARA and determine the appropriate timing.
For more details, please see this letter we recently sent to Congresswomen Dingell and Tlaib in response to a letter they sent to Beaumont President & CEO John Fox earlier this week.
April 20, 2020
Dear Congresswomen Dingell and Tlaib,
Beaumont Health is guided by our core values of compassion, respect, integrity, teamwork, and excellence. As such, our behavior and actions in everything we do is based in these values and set forth to serve our patients, families, colleagues and communities. Our commitment to this is our top priority.
As we face this unprecedented crisis together, our priority remains being transparent and ensuring accurate information is being shared with you, our congressional leaders, and communicated to the communities we serve. This is why your letters are so disheartening to receive. I must address the inaccuracies in your letters to ensure we work together and move forward in an open and honest way.
To be clear, Beaumont Wayne is not closing as we have previously stated multiple times since March 25, 2020. Nor have we decided to close any other acute care campuses. All decisions Beaumont has made throughout our unprecedented response to this pandemic have been made with the proper and required approvals from the State of Michigan (e.g. LARA) and in a very transparent manner. In fact, the State has acknowledged Beaumont's treatment of a disproportionate share of COVID-19 patients and our creativity to continually flex to meet the needs of these patients.
Beaumont Health has treated the majority of COVID-19 confirmed and related PUI (Persons Under Investigation) patients in the State. To properly care for and treat these patients, we are constantly flexing our response efforts to the COVID-19 pandemic as we monitor its impact to our system. As Beaumont experienced its initial surge, we moved quickly. Two of our hospitals, Grosse Pointe and Farmington Hills, were 90% plus COVID-19 patients after only three weeks since we saw the first COVID-19 patient at Beaumont on March 13, 2020. Royal Oak was more than 60% COVID-19 patients as were our other BH hospitals when Beaumont requested Wayne be designated as a COVID-19 only hospital.This followed a best practice surge plan seen in New York, California, and other hard-hit demographic areas and enabled Wayne to plan for acceptance of COVID-19 patients which required the Emergency Center being closed and other steps. Beaumont and the local community are fortunate to have the Beaumont free-standing Canton Emergency Center that has remained open to serve the local community that Beaumont Canton and Wayne serve.
Fortunately, the pandemic modeling that indicated Beaumont could double or even triple the number of COVID-19 patients has not been what we've experienced over the last 10 days (see the attached model document). Instead, we have finally seen some decrease and are cautiously optimistic that we're on the downward side of our initial surge curve of COVID-19. Although we used Beaumont Wayne initially for some COVID- 19 patients, it also became clear that the acuity of many COVID-19 patients required them to be in a larger hospital such as Dearborn, Royal Oak, and Troy. We also found that with the declining number of COVID-19 inpatients, the beds at COVID-19 Wayne were not needed immediately and that the critical staff at Wayne (e.g. ICU nurses) were urgently needed at other Beaumont hospitals.
Beaumont has been clear with the State of Michigan that the limiting factor in the care of COVID-19 patients during the surge was not beds but rather critical clinical personnel (e.g. nurses, respiratory therapists, dialysis technicians) and equipment (e.g. ventilators, PPE). Our consistent and transparent response to proposals to develop more "beds" at new field hospitals has been that there is not a need for incremental beds outside of existing hospitals, but rather, a need for critical resources such as staff, ventilators, and PPE. As such, we have raised concerns with leaders from across the State regarding the true limiting factor to care for COVID-19 patients which again is critical staffing and equipment shortages, and how those shortages can be exacerbated by unneeded beds coming online. Instead, our strong recommendation has been to send any staffing and critical resources the State and Federal Government have available to Beaumont and other SE Michigan health systems who all have the capacity to create more beds in our existing hospitals and will have support services like laboratories, pharmacies, and imaging which the incremental sites do not to care for these critically ill patients.
As Beaumont has cared for the most COVID-19 patients in the State, we understand the needs of these patients acutely, and we are continually flexing our surge plans in response to this pandemic and recalibrating services, resources, and staffing across the system to best meet the needs of our patients, employees, physicians and the communities we serve. While the number of COVID-19 patients has decreased recently, we don't know what the future holds in this pandemic and there could still be another surge or some other wave of COVID-19 patients.
Again, Beaumont. Wayne will re-open as we've always intended and stated repeatedly over the past three plus weeks. As we continue to navigate changes in our patient population/census, we will balance the needs of our high acuity COVID-19 patients across the Beaumont system while, at the same time, address the decreased census of our non-COVID-19 patient population. The transition from Beaumont Wayne's current licensed status as a COVID-19 hospital to re-opening as a community hospital necessitated the allocation of time for cleaning and disinfecting the facility. Our plans continue to develop across BH, including a plan to safely re-open Wayne. As the plan to re-open Beaumont, Wayne is finalized, subject to COVID-19 fluctuations, Beaumont will request the required licensure changes of State of MI LARA and determine the timing for our ability to staff the opening.
My hope is that we can work together for the betterment of all the communities and patients we serve. It is more important than ever to support one another and help each other during this unparalleled national crisis. Our Beaumont Health Team is here to help and is unified in our commitment to show the world what Beaumont Strong is. We hope you will join us in our endeavor to defeat this terrible viral enemy that will be with us for months to come.
President and CEO Beaumont Health